How you can support your loved one going through rehab for addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse classifies addiction as “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.”

Drug addiction and other forms of addiction are harmful diseases that not only impact the addict’s life but all the people around them.

Many people with loved ones suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues struggle to come to terms with the problem or are unsure of how to be supportive.

Even if you have successfully got your loved one into rehab, the journey is not over and many problems must be overcome during and after drug and alcohol rehab.

Below are some things you can bear in mind to help you find an approach that will help your loved one through rehab and beyond.


Trust and Communication

Building trust is a major first step in supporting a loved one through rehab. This person may have lost your trust during their addiction but being open to the chance of regaining it will help them consider a change.

This trust can be built up through honest and effective communication. Rather than raking over the past and who-did-what, being empathetic and demonstrating your desire to help a loved one suffering from addiction will hopefully reforge the relationship.

You are trying to encourage the change of entrenched behaviours, so it is important to reflect inwards and understand that you may need to change also. Displaying this willingness to go with them on the journey and strive for better change will show that they are not in this fight alone.


Dos and Don’ts of Helping a Loved One

Ultimately, it is down to the person going through recovery on whether they make it or not. However, family members and other loved ones can make the journey less stressful by doing certain things and changing behaviours. There are also missteps you can look to avoid, helping your loved one with their drug and alcohol addiction.



Educate Yourself

Knowledge is power and knowledge demystifies things that you may not understand. Coming to learn more about the addiction that your loved one is suffering from means that you can better understand what they are going through.

With this knowledge you be better equipped to advise on treatment options, know what to expect in the early days of recovery and spot signs of relapse. Having a knowledgeable advocate will hopefully help a loved one feel that they are not alone, and someone understands the struggles they are facing.


Show Your Love

A seemingly simple thing that may be the hardest one to do. People struggling with substance abuse oftentimes burn bridges and ruin relationships. Showing a person love who is in recovery, despite the history you may have, will mean a lot to them.

People going through recovery often feel alone and overwhelmed during this time of great change for them. Just being there and taking an active role in their life will make the world of difference. Taking time out to do things together will help them think less about their addiction and show them that you care.


Manage Expectations

Once a loved one is in rehab it may feel that the hard work is done, and life will immediately improve. Learning to manage your expectations and prepare for all eventualities will lessen the frustration when the best-case scenario doesn’t always happen.

Recovery is a long road and helping someone stay sober is hard. Knowing that it is a journey and small steps forward and sliding back will help everyone not lose hope and ease friction.



Blame Yourself

People in the throes of substance abuse and mental health issues may blame everyone else for their problems before rehab and starting towards recovery. Many loved ones of those suffering from substance abuse disorders do lay some of the blame at their feet.

It’s important to remember that you did not cause the addiction and that the only person who picked up that bottle or took that drug was the person in rehab. Accepting your lack of control in the situation will hopefully relieve guilt and help your loved ones take responsibility for their actions.


Be Judgemental

Treatment programs will not work the same for everyone. Some people go through recovery quite smoothly and others hit a lot of bumps in the road. Learning not to your judge your loved one by others in similar situations will stop friction and resentment build up on both sides. Keeping positive and maintaining a good relationship will help everyone in the long run.


Put Pressure on Them

Putting pressure on a loved one going through and coming out of rehab usually comes from a good place. It’s an exciting time where the future looks bright and your loved one is turning their life around.

It’s also overwhelming and critical, where relapse looms large. Dialling back your enthusiasm and allowing your loved one to move at their own pace will help them feel more comfortable and able to cope with life.


Treatment and Therapy Options

Helping your loved one choose the right treatment plan and knowing what to expect will lessen the anxiety for them when they enter rehab. Step One Recovery provides a comprehensive rehab programme with a range of treatments and therapies at our treatment facilities, dealing with both the physical and psychological sides of addictions.

Detox is an integral first step of rehab, where harmful toxins are flushed from the body. During this time medication may be administered to ease the worst of withdrawal symptoms that occur when your loved one stops taking drugs or drinking. If completing treatment on an inpatient basis, your loved one will have access to round the clock care to make sure they are comfortable and safe during this distressing time.

Combining detox with talking therapies and holistic therapies will provide a well-thought-out approach that is very effective. Those suffering from both substance abuse and mental health will have access to treatment that helps with the separate conditions in tandem. Through these therapies, your loved one will learn coping skills and how to better manage temptations and live a more fulfilling life.


Life After Rehab

The time after rehab is critical. Ensuring your loved one engages in aftercare programmes and attending meetings such as narcotics anonymous are vital to decreasing the risk of relapse. Remaining vigilant after treatment will help you both spot the warning signs of possible relapse and cope better if it does occur.

Due to what you have learnt throughout the course of another person’s rehab and a life of recovery, you can begin living a life that may not have seemed possible when a loved one’s addiction was in full swing.


Get in Touch Today

If you are ready to take the first step in the right direction and help a loved one get the help they need, call Step One Recovery today at 0330 107 2950.